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Jefferson County health officials see increase in vaccination numbers after booster approval

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 9:27 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2021 at 9:44 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County health officials report an increase in vaccinations this past week as more people get a Pfizer booster shot.

Dr. David Hicks with the Jefferson County Health Department said they have already seen three times more vaccinations this week than last, mostly because of boosters.

“Last week to this week, we’ve seen a jump,” Hicks said. “The only thing that has changed has been that booster authorization. 55% of people have gotten at least one dose in our county and 45% are fully vaccinated, so we are making some progress there.”

Hicks said people are experiencing similar side effects from the booster shot as before.

“People who have gotten two doses already know what they are dealing with,” Hicks said. “You may be tired. You may get some upset stomach or you may feel chills. Some people, less likely, may feel feverish.”

Hicks said not all side effects are likely the third time around.

“Injection site reaction, soreness in that shoulder, it is actually less likely to happen with the third booster dose,” Hicks said.

Because the third shot is exactly the same as the first two, Hicks said there is even a chance you won’t have any side effects at all.

“Your body gets used to it, so your body knows how to handle and respond to it,” Hicks said. “Your body says ‘OK, I recognize this. I know what this is about.”

Hicks said it is all based on individual immune response, so you could even experience a new side effect this time that you didn’t have the first round.

“There may be some people who got one side effect first and then third go around, they may get a different one,” he said.

Dr. Hicks said the county does not have any supply issues when it comes to the Pfizer vaccine. He said if you qualify, you should have no problem finding it across the county. Hicks said if you have side effects, they should not last longer than one day.

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